The East Hampton village board concluded earlier this year that...

The East Hampton village board concluded earlier this year that the many "for sale" signs popping up were leaving a bad impression. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

East Hampton Village will be shrinking the size of new "for sale" signs placed in front of homes, but agreed to allow real estate firms to continue putting their logo on them. And the signs still can be in any color.

The village board vote Friday approving the new sign restrictions was unanimous and followed a public hearing.

The issue arose after the board concluded this year that the many "for sale" signs were making a bad impression. "A proliferation of such signs detracts from the aesthetic appeal of the village as a whole," the board noted in the legislation.

And, village officials added, the signs -- up to 7 square feet under the old restrictions -- were larger than similar signs permitted in Sag Harbor, Quogue, Southampton Village, Westhampton Beach and Shelter Island.

The village's original proposal reduced the size of signs to 18 inches by 18 inches (or 2.25 square feet), and it banned commercial logos and detailed the color and size of the lettering on them. Those two provisions were dropped after complaints from real estate brokers.

At Friday's public hearing, the Long Island Board of Realtors complained about a provision requiring signs to be placed parallel to the road and printed only on one side, saying motorists would have to slow down to read them and might cause an accident. That limitation was kept in the new law.

"We applaud the efforts of this board to manage this visual blight," said Kathleen Cunningham, executive director of the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton. Still, she said she, too, was concerned that a sign parallel to the road -- rather than placed at a right angle -- could create a traffic hazard.

The new limits also apply to contractors' signs, which go up on a work site and list the people working on the job.

Local real estate brokers were split in their opinion on the village board action, some sending in letters supporting it and others opposing it.

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